Friday, August 10, 2012

Gold, by Chris Cleave

Since they were teenagers, Kate and Zoe have always been in competition, both on and off the track.  As competitive cyclists, they have competed for spots on the national and international scale, and are now dealing with their final shot at Olympic gold.  Over they years, Kate has sacrificed winning for her personal life, while Zoe has sacrificed her social life for winning.  But, in the end, who will be the winner, both in the Olympics, and in life?

I sort of struggled with this book.  I found this to be a very timely read, as the 2012 Olympics are winding down.  I liked the timely nature of this book, and the Olympic aspect of the story.  And as far as stories go, this was a better than average story.  I liked walking into the story in the middle, then learning the backstory, before rocketing to the conclusion.  I enjoyed the structure, and found the writing to be solid.  I did somewhat struggle with the portions of the book dealing with a sick child.  It just made me a little uncomfortable, not only reading about this sick little girl, but reading it from her point of view.  It seemed a little confusing, and out of place.

In terms of the characters, I had an extraordinarily difficult time relating to, or being empathetic toward, Zoe as a character.  We hear so much about her difficult childhood, and her personal trauma, but I find her cold, and, in a word, unlikable.  I just really wanted to see her fail.  Her character caused a very strong reaction  Her character was my biggest problem with the whole book.  I just could not stand her, and I did not really want to read about her.

I think the only reason I enjoyed the book is much as I did is that it dealt with the current Olympic games.  But in some ways, I think the only kind of gold this book is, is fool's gold.

I received a review copy as part of the Amazon Vine program.

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